Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hank, Wally and crew...

Hey y’all,

Thanks for your calendar orders…they went out Thursday early afternoon. I have a few left so if anyone would like to get one, you can scoot over to www.paypal.com and insert our email address Monteen@hawktalk.org, slip us a twenty spot, leave your mailing address (and request a calendar) and I’ll get it out that day or the very next morning, depending on when I receive the notification.

Hank the Heron has been visiting. I’ve never had such a cool opportunity to get this close to photograph one. What a treat it’s been… The chickens become hysterical when he flies over, but that’s the signal that he’s at the pond so I take off with the camera. Since my action shots are sucky, I’m just trying to get some normal stills…

Yesterday morning, I heard the chickens screaming and then a loud thud on the roof; I figured that either Hank was here or Santa was late…it was the former.

I guess this was a belch

He was hanging out on top of the swing for this one…while the chickens were cowering under the privet.

My kids are in good shape and the rehab birds are doing well. Actually, the Barred owl with the fractured carpal joint (wrist) is faring better than I expected. The wing droops somewhat, but he might be alright in the end. We worry about too much calcification that comes along with the healing process and loss of rotation that is critical to their getting around properly. In another week or so, I’ll start putting him on the ground to see if he can pump up to the perch. That will be the main test, then I can make a better determination as to whether he can be released. He’s wild as a snake, so he’s not glove trainable and I don’t know how hard it would be to place him. With this blasted economy, centers have been cutting back their display birds over the last three years to help with their budget. I need a lot of land and a big fat budget so I can have a lot of static displays.

Those light blue things you see on the top part of his eyes are the Nictitating membranes…sort of like windshield wipers that voluntarily cover the eyes completely. They also contain the tear glands and double as protective barriers against punctures and abrasions. An ounce of prevention and all the rest of it….

Wally is coming along better than expected, too…he was the one that broke his leg AND his wing, the poor dear, when he got whacked by the chicken truck. Yesterday was the first time I actually saw him use his leg (I’ve had him 6 weeks). I wasn’t shoveling the food to him fast enough and so he hit the cage door with both feet. Normally, I wouldn’t like for them to do that, but in his case, I grinned! Our concern was that his toes wouldn’t work properly; they need to open and close and that they did, right around the wire grate of the door. He bows when I approach, so the wing is working, too! Thanks to Dr. Martinez for a job well done! You can see in the leg radiograph, that there is very little calcification after 4 weeks, but he’s coming along. It will still be a while before I put him outside, but he’s been an exemplary patient, which can mean life or death for them. If they’re nuts and break off their primaries and tail feathers then you have nothing left to work with…that was also another concern of ours; both breaks were straight across and can rotate during the healing process if the bird can’t remain calm. Yay for Wally!


OK…that’s it for things on my end of the swamp. I’ve got to make some note cards and drive them over to Rome (Georgia, not Italy) to try to off…the things I do for Mouse Money! ….m.

Oh…PS: Ho Ho Ho…

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